Updated on June 18, 2024


Created on July 20, 2017

O3b Networks

Global satellite services provider

Developed By
  1. SES S.A.
Content Partners


Product Description

O3b Networks is a global satellite services provider building a satellite network for telecommunications operators and Internet Service Providers, as well as enterprise customers and government departments and agencies, providing consumers and businesses in nearly 180 countries with high speed Internet and mobile connectivity.

Target SDGs

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Target Users (Target Impact Group)


Distributors / Implementing Organizations

O3b Network has several deployments with available documentation online. Some of the customers are: SpeedCast in Christmas Island, Presta Bist in Chad, CNT in Galápagos Islands, Entel in Easter Island and Royal Caribbean International among others.

Manufacturing/Building Method

The core of O3b Networks are their Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites that have the following characteristics: Payload Module:

  • - Ka-Band
  • - manufacturer Thales Alenia Space
  • - 12 x 65W TWTA
  • - 12 x Antennas: Steerable ±26°
  • - Terminal/Teleport Cross Strapped
  • - 216MHz Transponder Bandwidth
Service Module:
  • - Electrical Power: Triple Junction Solar Cells, 100Ah Lithium Ion Battery, BOL: 1575W
  • - Telemetry & Command: Ka-Band, Nadir Earth Coverage, Zenith Omni Coverage, Command Authentication
  • - Orbit: Altitude: ~8062km, Ground Period: 360min / 4 contacts per day, Inclination: <0.1 degrees
  • - Reliability: Heritage includes Globalstar 2
  • - Structure & Mechanism: Aluminum Tubular Frame, Aluminum Honeycomb Panels, Solar Array Release Mechanism
  • - Propulsion: Hydrazine Blowdown, Max. Required: 49.6kg, Capacity: 154kg, 8 x 1N Thrusters
  • - Attitude Control & Determination: Fine Sun Sensors, Inertial Measurement Units, Infra-red Earth Sensors, Reaction Wheels, Electro Torque Rods, Thrusters – 1N, GPS Receiver – Time and Position

Intellectural Property Type

Select Type

User Provision Model

Users need to contact O3b Networks representatives to agree service characteristics, implementation process and support terms.

Distributions to Date Status

According to O3b Networks web page, there are now more than 50 customers using their services globally.

Type of service

Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellite network service.

Telecommunication service required

Satellite reception terminals (included with service)

Fixed network connection required (Y/N)


Additional device required


Two way communication (Y/N)


Battery life (hours)

User terminals do not include internal energy storage but can be fed with external batteries.

Network capacity

Depending on services contracted.

Power requirements

Depending on terminal and services contracted.

Average packet loss



Internet service in general.

Design Specifications

The O3b system uses Ka-band beams of 700km diameter delivering up to 1.2Gbps to provide global reach with low latency, which is less than 150ms according to provider. The network works with Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites orbit at 8,062km above the Earth to achieve the reduction in latency common to conventional satellite networks. The network has a Standard service available within ± 45º latitude and a limited service from 45º to ± 62º latitude.

  • - Designed, integrated and tested by Thales Alenia Space.
  • - Initial constellation of 12 satellites and fully scalable to meet market demand.
  • - Orbital height: 8062km
  • - Orbital inclination: <0.1?
  • - Ground period: 360 min / 4 contacts per day. Ka-Band.
  • - Optimal coverage between 45° north/south latitudes.
  • - 10 beams per region (7 regions) totaling 70 remote beams per 12 satellite constellation.
  • - Up to 2Gbps per beam.
  • - 84Gbps available per 8 satellite constellation.
  • - Beam coverage: 700km diameter.
  • - Transponder bandwidth: 216MHz; 2 x 216MHz per beam

Product Schematics

Technical Support

O3b Networks is a satellite network that provides services to several customers and count with a comprehensive technical support platform. An optional Lifecycle Service is available for customers that includes 24x7x365 monitoring, end-to-end case and fault management and others.

Replacement Components

Components and replacement parts will vary depending on the different services provided by O3b Networks and acquired by client.



Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

Performance will depend on specific service required/contracted.

Vetted Performance Status

In August 2016, SES Government Solutions announced a contract to provide an O3b Networks high throughput, low latency satellite communications solution for a US Department of Defense end-user. The agreement is for a 365 days-per-year service consisting of a full duplex symmetric 155 Mbps link, gateway access, a transportable 2.4m terminal, terrestrial backhaul, and maintenance and installation services, with a latency of under 200 ms per round trip. The contract also provides for additional capacity to meet surge requirements.



Complementary Technical Systems

O3b Networks provides IP (Layer 3) or Ethernet (Layer 2) connection services in a backbone-to-edge architecture. Users need to provide last mile connectivity infrastructure and services to end-users.

Academic Research and References

S. H. Blumenthal, “Medium Earth Orbit Ka Band Satellite Communications System,” MILCOM 2013 – 2013 IEEE Military Communications Conference, San Diego, CA, 2013, pp. 273-277. doi: 10.1109/MILCOM.2013.54

Lloyd Wood, Yuxuan Lou, Opeoluwa Olusola (2014): Revisiting elliptical satellite orbits to enhance the O3b constellation. Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, vol. 67, no. 3, pp. 110-118, March 2014

M. Williamson, “Connecting the other three billion,” in Engineering & Technology, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 70-73, 28 Feb. – 13 Mar. 2009.
doi: 10.1049/et.2009.0417

M. Casoni, C. A. Grazia, M. Klapez, N. Patriciello, A. Amditis and E. Sdongos, “Integration of satellite and LTE for disaster recovery,” in IEEE Communications Magazine, vol. 53, no. 3, pp. 47-53, March 2015.
doi: 10.1109/MCOM.2015.7060481

Compliance with regulations

O3b Networks operates in full accordance with the ITU RR and complies with international satellite regulations but local national policies and regulations need to be addressed in specific deployment locations.

Evaluation methods

For being a connectivity service, important parameters are bandwidth, packet loss, latency and signal degradation due to natural phenomena such as rains.

Other Information

O3b Networks has a YouTube Channel with user testimony, tutorials and deployments coverage. In order for this product to reach end-users, implementers need to provide transport and last mile infrastructure and services.

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